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Star power amounts to nothing

Jones Gang -- Any Day Now.jpg

There is no shortage of classic rock credentials in The Jones Gang. The core of the group is drummer Kenney Jones (The Small Faces, The Faces and The Who), bassist Rick Wills (Peter Frampton, Foreigner and Bad Company) and singer Robert Hart (Bad Company).

But impressive resumes only matter so much.

Any Day Now (AAO Music), the band’s debut disc, starts out the prog-rock swirl of “Time of Your Life.” It’s a decent enough opener, with great synth fills and a powerful hook, and one would figure that the rest of the album would follow suit. Unfortunately, the bulk of the album is wimpy ballads and one lyrical cliche after another.

Hart sounds like a road-weary Richard Marx. This is especially blatant on the album’s first single, “Angel.” Listening to the lines “She said I won’t take you to heaven, I thought angels did not lie,” it’s hard not to cringe.

A glimmer of hope briefly shines on “Six to Midnight” — it’s the type of song that The Faces might be making if they got back together. The song is a mini reunion of sorts, with former Face Ronnie Wood livening things up with a solid outro solo.

But just when the gang starts to turn it around, they hit the wall again with “Where Are You,” which should be called “We’ve Loved the Who a Long Time.” The band works in about six different Who song titles into the lyrics. On top of that, the main guitar parts are practically lifted right from “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

On the packaging front, these guys didn’t skimp on the liner notes — full bios for all members and a description as to how they hooked up are a nice touch and should please the classic rock superfans.

Too bad the album won’t come close to doing the same.

— By Mike Madden